So yesterday Danny(the white belt in the picture) and I decide to go visit our instructor down in Newcastle. The drive down was an adventure in itself with torrential rain, thunderstorms and power cuts in the petrol station but 4 hours later we got there safe and sound.
As we walked in we were greeted with Tyrone a high level brown belt that will no doubt have his black belt in the near future, Dom a black belt and owner of Origin BJJ Darlington and Speedy a 2nd degree black belt under Marc Walder, head of the Origin clan in the North of England & Scotland, a foot/leg lock specialist and an all round bad ass on the mats. Pretty intimidating for anyone really but when you are a 1 stripe white belt like Danny, only been training for a few months and meeting these guys for the first time properly… Well you could imagine how he felt!
Right off the bat Dom grabbed me and we started to roll, Dom’s game is super tight… He’s a black belt of course it’s super tight. As we were rolling Speedy was giving me instruction, I was giving him too much space and not enough pressure. I’m not gonna lie it felt like I was in the headmasters office by told off but it’s things that need to be said to give me the kick up the arse I need and it’s not just me as another team member was down the week before and rolled exactly the same way so it’s a problem that’s more on a club than an individual level.
So with everyone ready to learn Speedy asked us what we wanted to do. On the way down Danny decide he wanted to concentrate on triangles which was fine by me as its been a while since I worked on triangle set ups and by Christ Speedy gave us triangles!!
We did the classic push/pull set up to start with but with the essential tweaks to make it super tight with unbelievable pressure. The second set up was from a double wrist grab but the grab felt a little unconventional at first but works a treat. The third was from on top side control and this was a neck busting brutal inverted number with horrendous pressure! The last was set up from mount, Dom had question on this one about transferring your weight but guess what? When done by Speedy it felt like your chest was going to explode and you ribs were going to crumble with a super tight triangle to finish.
Now yesterday I thought I was learning the finer details of the triangle but writing this I realise I wasn’t, yes I was shown triangles but everything was about pressure! The subconscious lesson that you don’t even realise that you’re learning until that brain explosion. I need to change my game… No I need to change my pressure don’t give people space to do their game and tighten up my submissions. This is my next goal!
Once we had finished we drilling triangle techniques we sparred, 6 minute rounds. Speedy, Dom and Tyrone, not once but twice maybe three times each. Dom was first and it wasn’t as pleasant as our little warm up roll. He exposed my loose game and crushed me to death, tapping me in all sorts of maneuvers. Tyrone did exactly the same pinning me in side control and finding it near impossible to get out of and tying me up in knots with his rubberband Jiu Jitsu. Speedy… Speedy crushed me at will but flowed from move to move capitalising on my lack of leg lock game which is embarrassing when he has specialised in this area!
The time flew by, three hours we had trained. Afterwards Speedy explained to Danny how he gave me a harder time because of the colour of my belt and to be honest I deserved it, I felt like I knew nothing(even though that’s not true) a white belt stepping on the mats for the first time. A humbling and eye opening experience that keeps you thinking and wanting to better yourself. So much to work on, I’ll get there it just takes time and patience. I just need to nurse my swollen toes & ankles and all the other niggles first!
Love and respect.